vegan week day 1 – chickpea night!

well, everyone, phillip and i survived day one of #veganweek – woohoo!  it’s good to start the week off on a high note, and i think we are both optimistic for the next four days.

this morning’s breakfast was cereal and fruit, pretty safe bets (i’d guess) for a quick vegan breakfast.  well, maybe any breakfast for that matter.  anyway!  since we’d been out of town this past weekend, the refrigerator was a bit empty, which meant that we were both on our own for lunch today.  phillip’s office had lunch catered in, and he had a caprese salad sandwich – tasty!  the cheese might have categorized this meal as vegetarian rather than vegan, but still an honorable effort.

i ventured down the street to a fabulous spot called cafe sunflower.  this restaurant just might change your life, no joke!  their pad thai is unbelievable with coconut-peanut sauce, baby corn, and tofu.  oh, and their avocados this time of year are perfectly green and creamy and flavorful; seriously, to die for!  although i probably ate more than i needed to in one sitting, it was worth every bite.  🙂

now, after the work day was done and the laptops were closed, i headed to the local kroger to pick up dinner.  i figured if we were doing this whole vegan thing, we might as well go all the way, so i found a couple mediterranean-inspired dishes in a vegetarian/vegan cookbook hiding in my cupboard.  and, while we’re talking about this cookbook, i honestly have not the slightest clue as to how it came into my possession.  i can nearly guarantee i didn’t purchase it myself, but don’t we all buy things with the best of intentions that sometimes end up otherwise…?  oh good, it’s not just me.

as i was placing my items on the checkout belt, i couldn’t help but realize this trip to the store was probably the healthiest i’d ever made and, by no coincidence, one of the more expensive ones.  it’s an interesting phenomenon that the cheaper food can tend to be bad for you while you must pay more for something better.  now, i will say that a few of the items i had to buy to make dinner are infrequent purchases that once they’re in the cupboard, i’m set for a while.  i guess i’ll just look at it from that perspective…!

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i hustled home, threw down the groceries, changed into something comfortable, and got to work!  on the menu was homemade red pepper hummus followed by quinoa and pistachio salad with moroccan pesto.  noms!  i very much enjoyed making the hummus because i got to do something i’ve never done in the kitchen:  roast and peel peppers!  for some reason, it was actually quite fun.  please don’t ask why.  there’s just something satisfying about blistering the skin of a pepper, peeling it off, and then crushing it in a blender to make something tasty.  now, i’ve never made my own hummus, but i will easily say that this recipe needed more liquid.  my pint-sized food processor had a hard time blending the chickpeas and peppers all together, so the bottle of olive oil i keep on the top shelf came in very handy.  although it probably could have used a heavy swig more, the hummus still was very tasty.  the coarse texture made us smile because we knew it was homemade.  only critique?  more garlic!

as for the main course, the quinoa salad was a hit!  despite the fact that i accidentally put the roasted peppers in the cilantro sauce instead of chopping them up, the flavor was still impeccable.  the chickpeas gave the dish a nice little “crunch” along with the pistachios.  and the best part?  we didn’t even have to eat a whole bowl of it to be full!  guess that’s what happens when you eat the right stuff.  😉

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with plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow, i’d say we’re on the right track.  and with blog recommendations from you all that will more than likely turn into another meal one night this week, i’m excited!

on a somewhat related note, here are pictures of the amazing food phillip and i had at the lindley park filling station when we visited our friends mary and mike last week in greensboro.  those fried green tomatoes, sweet potato chips, and hot dogs were a great binge before this cleansing week!

and, because i like you guys so much, here’s a few more fun ones from our little weekend getaway.  love it!

san francisco – day 3

another early morning arrived for brian and me.  he wanted to get a good start so that he could leave work at a more reasonable hour for some friday fun, so we whisked out into the already windy day and took the truck over to 24th and folsom for brian’s favorite cup of coffee at philz.  he said this spot was his daily hangout once upon a time, so if it’s good enough for him, it’ll work for me, too!

when we walked into philz, i was instantly reminded of the east side jittery joe’s back in athens.  it’s artsy and eclectic, and i loved every ounce of it.

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it’s quite the menu they’ve got here, so i trusted brian to do the ordering for us both.  he got us each a small philtered soul, a lighter medium blend of hazelnut and chocolate.  um, yes, that sounds amazing!  we took our cups to-go and had our first sips out on the sidewalk.  although a little on the sweeter side, the coffee was flavorful, a lovely treat to wake us up at just a quarter past the seven o’clock hour.

gah, he's just the coolest!

gah, he’s just the coolest!

we then headed east on 24th to find dynamo donut shop.  my friend mike had heard good things about it, so i felt it was my personal duty to see if the fun was warranted.  this little place is actually a walk-up counter serving up homemade donuts and coffee.

i was in the mood for something chocoately, so i gladly let the cashier recommend the chocolate rose.  brian went for a saltier selection with the maple glazed bacon apple.  she popped them into a to-go bag for us so that brian and i could enjoy them in a nearby park.  we plopped ourselves on top of the artful sea serpent because that seemed the most obvious thing to do.

we decided that sharing the donuts was the perfect thing to do.  brian bit into the chocolate rose first, and his face said it all:  he really didn’t care for it.  whoops!  i took a taste to see if i agreed but found i felt differently.  i actually quite liked its bittersweet flavor and cakey texture.  brian did come around to admit after a few more tries that it wasn’t so bad after all.

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even though i was a fan of the chocolate rose, i might say the maple glazed bacon apple that brian picked out was pretty awesome.  the glaze was just the right thickness to coat the donut but not take away from the subtle and sweet syrupy-apple flavor.  oh, and let’s be honest, no breakfast is complete without bacon, right?  ah, yes, how american of me!

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it was about that hour for brian to head out to work, so he dropped me off back at cafe st. jorge.  i just couldn’t stay away!  i snuggled into the booth with a sesame bagel and organic cream cheese and wrote the morning away.  all of philz coffee went straight to my head and got me uber focused.  i knocked out a whole day and a half of san fran fun in a short couple of hours.  booyah!

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